I remember the first time I noticed Gertrude. She had been there for as long as I could remember, part of the scenery, a statue that barely registered. I was five and she was already old, though she never seemed to age. She was sitting on the curb surrounded by weathered pink luggage and I felt, for the first time, a quicksilver curiosity about her.
"Mommy, why does that lady have all those bags?" I tugged on my mother's hand and pointed at the woman not far from us. "Is she going someplace?"